On our last day in Fiji Kerry and I took the opportunity to go diving, something I’d been wanting to do and hadn’t had the chance since my accident last year. I’ve been diving probably 17-18 years now, after learning at Exeter University back in the UK and becoming an instructor shortly thereafter.
Now, I didn’t expect to have any particular issues diving, since you don’t really use your hands much underwater anyway, but, it did feel good to get back in the water again…and I’ve never dived in water quite so warm, it must have been 30 degrees Celsius!
As you can see from the photos I’m using rental kit. Since I lost my left hand I didn’t really need any modifications to the kit (if I’d lost my right hand I’d probably want to invert the regulator so it came over my left shoulder). I wore my prosthetic liner on my arm, which is a silicone based liner, for protection and to help keep my stump warm (since I don’t have great circulation). Obviously I didn’t wear my prosthetic, not sure it would fare too well under water.
The dive was great, not the most spectacular per se, but just great to be in the water again. I really didn’t have any difficulties diving, I could easily control my buoyancy with my right hand and otherwise everything was just as normal. So don’t let not having an arm stop you from jumping in the water…diving is too much fun to miss out on.
I was talking with Julian, our friend here in New Zealand, where we’re staying this week, and he reminded me of a dive trip we did to Jamaica a few years back, where a group of us helped this guy who was a quadriplegic go diving in the sea (since most of us in the group were instructors)…if he had the determination to overcome his disability and go diving there’s certainly no excuses for the rest of us.